Two new full-time, tenure-track assistant professors will join the faculty of the Elliott School of Communication this fall.
Jessica (Freeman) Bertapelle will move into a tenure-track position after serving two years as an instructor in the school. Dr. Bertapelle teaches journalism and communication courses which have included Sex, Violence & Media, Writing for the Mass Audience, Editing for Print and Communication Research and Inquiry.
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Bertapelle completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Arlington. There, she served as editor in chief of the award-winning, daily student newspaper The Shorthorn. She received her master’s degree in mass communications at Texas Tech University and in 2011 completed her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Bertapelle has done print media work for WSU News and Media Relations, the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. She has also been published in various newspapers including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Aspen Times and Crowley Star. Her research interests involve the uses, processing and effects of sexualized media.
Jennifer Tiernan joins the Elliott School faculty after serving previously on faculties at Purdue University, The University of Oklahoma and South Dakota State University. For the past two years, Dr. Tiernan was an assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at South Dakota State where she participated in the creation and then served as coordinator of the nation’s only accredited online master’s of mass communication program. She teaches undergraduate and graduate media studies courses on topics of gender and communication, film studies and mass communication. She was heavily involved in the Honors College at South Dakota State University and will teach honors courses at WSU as well.
A Southern California native, Tiernan grew up in northern New Jersey. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Eugene Lang College in the New School for Social Research in New York City. She earned a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and then earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2002.
Tiernan has previously worked in development communication and event photography in New York City. She has published or presented papers on subjects including gender and the Internet, media history and culture, and Vietnam veteran photography. Tiernan is currently working on a project examining how a group of mothers use social media to network and communicate about family and personal issues.